Manufacturers, importers see hardship over CBN’s directive on Form ‘M’

Following the new directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) mandating all importers of goods not valid for foreign exchange to submit their Form ‘M’ through their dealer banks for onward validation by the apex bank, manufacturers and importers are lamenting that the new directive will further aggravate the already harsh business environment in the country.

According to them, the system is becoming over regulated and it is not good for the business environment, especially in an import-dependent economy where raw materials for the manufacturing sector are mostly imported.

Recall that the CBN recently issued a directive demanding importers of goods not valid for foreign exchange to submit the pro-form invoice, insurance certificate and written confirmation of bank sowing the source fund before approval for opening of Form ‘M’ would be granted.

“In as much as an importer is not brining in contraband goods and has not sourced for foreign exchange from the CBN’s foreign exchange market as stipulated, why will the importer be subjected to this kind of rigorous processes,” questioned Muda Yusuf, director-general, Lagos Chamber of Commerce Industry (LCCI), who spoke with BusinessDay.

The directive is also working against the manufacturing sector, owing to the fact that many manufacturers are complaining that some of their raw materials and critical input are contained in the 41 items banned from sourcing forex, he said. “This is why the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has written to the CBN to review the lists. We need them to review the list and that should be the starting point,” he said.

Tony Anakebe, a maritime analyst, who noted that the scarcity of foreign currency made the CBN to use every means to slow down importation of products that could be produced in Nigeria, also stated that the new directive will make it difficult for a lot of importers to meet the CBN requirements.

“This is already impacting on the import system in Nigeria and it is going to bring more hardship for importers, especially those importing the 41 items banned from accessing foreign exchange.”

Source : BusinessDay

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